- Discuss the theory of evolution by natural selection as proposed by Charles Darwin. Illustrate your answers with 1 example originally used by Darwin in his publication “origin of species” or from the abstract published jointly by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace on 03 Feb 1858, and 2 additional modern day examples, and provide an explanation on how individuals with a particular heritable trait may be advantageous under those conditions.
*Note: The actual discussion on the theory of evolution in your Campbell text book is in my opinion rather weak. If you only quote what is in your textbook, you WILL NOT receive full marks on the theory part. I suggest you quote some text from the original Darwin’s work “origin of species. A pdf has also been provided to you on blackboard. Please make this look like an original essay. If you direct copy and paste from the web, I will take points off. Your essay will be checked through SafeAssign for originality.
Choose only 1 of the following (32 points). 1-2 pages of single spacing would be appropriate
Bonus points possible for exceptionally good essays or with additional interesting examples (up 2 points)
- Define paedomorphosis or neoteny. Give 2 examples of organisms (other than human) that exhibit this feature and explain why these features are considered “juvenile”. Then, explain how this phenomenon might be related to human evolution.
- Discuss the theories (there are more than one !!) and evidence supporting those theories that may explain to the extinction of dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. Discuss why dinosaurs become extinct selectively but mammals, birds and other reptiles managed to survive through that extinction period.
- Compare and contrast homology and analogy with respect to body plans of animals. Illustrate your answers with at least 2 separate examples for EACH type of body plan in animals. You should discuss briefly how these examples are homologous or analogous with one another and not the other way round.
- Discuss the theories for the origin of life on Planet Earth. Is the earliest life form likely to be DNA based? Why or why not? Also briefly discuss the timeline and major events that leads to evolution of unicellular prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes (there is no need to discuss multicellular eukaryotes)
- Using your knowledge of plate tectonics, discuss a theory why Australia have its own unique flora and fauna that are very different from the rest of the world. Cite some examples of both plants and marsupial mammals that are only found in Australia and not anywhere else. Some placental mammals are found in Australia before the arrival of humans, what are they and how do you think those placental mammals get there? Why do you think marsupial mammals are so infrequently found in other continents?
- Briefly discuss how scientists can determine evolutionary relationship by studying genes and protein sequences. What assumptions are you making when you use these methods and what are the major drawbacks? Give some examples of how evolutionary relationship between different organisms have been determined by this method. Discuss some discrepancies that you may find using this method compared with other methods in studying phylogeny.
Essays questions are graded by impression and grades are awarded solely on my discretion. About 3/4 of the marks will be awarded for content and about 1/4 of the marks will be awarded for presentation. Spelling, grammar, style of writing, choice of words, mastery of the language, overall literary merits, and organization (like good use of separate paragraphs, introduction and conclusion, etc.) will all count toward the presentation score.
Type the essays in Microsoft Word format. Combine your 2 essays into ONE file.
I suggest at least 1-2 pages (single spacing) for the theories and at least half a page for each example. Please discuss some details for each of the examples you cited too.